1. What is Report + Support? 

Report + Support is an online tool, developed by Culture Shift, through which students, learners, staff and visitors can report issues of assault, bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crime or sexual misconduct anonymously or with details. Report + Support also provides information about internal and external support, policies and procedures. 

2. Who can make a report? 

Open University students, learners, staff and visitors can make a report through Report + Support. 

3. What happens when someone makes an anonymous report? 

The report will be received by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team. No further action will be made regarding the report and incident. If you would like action to be taken please submit a report with contact details. 

The information held in an anonymous report is essential for the University to monitor trends and develop responses. 

The anonymous reports will be collated to enable the University to identify patterns over time, and therefore to develop plans and allocate resources. For example, anonymous reports could prompt the University to initiate anti-harassment or anti-bullying campaigns across schools, faculties, or the entire University. 

Although the University may not be able to take action on an anonymous report, in many cases these anonymous reports will be the only way the university knows what types of assault, bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crimes or sexual misconduct are occurring. They are an essential part of our efforts to end these forms of abuse. 

In short, do not think that if you submit an anonymous report, nothing will happen. Anonymous reports may provide the only glimpse of what is actually happening at the University, and as such, are crucial for the University to take action collectively. Indeed, this is why the University has adopted the Report and Support system. 

Most importantly, if you saw or experienced something serious enough to bother or upset you, the University wants to know about it, and you should report it. 

4. What is the difference between anonymous and reports with contact details? 

The University does not know who has made an anonymous report, and therefore cannot reach out and provide support. Instead, the report is collated to enable the University to identify patterns and to develop plans and allocate resources to address negative behaviours. 

If someone wants to receive support or consider informal or formal options to address a concern, they would make a report with contact details.  

5. What action can you take from anonymous reports? 

Information provided in anonymous reports will collated so that the University can monitor for trends and patterns of assault, bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crime or sexual misconduct.  This will give the University an overall picture of the rate and frequency of these forms of abuse at the University, which in turn will guide the University’s strategies to prevent, deter, and eliminate these forms of abuse. In particular, the University's EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Team will work with areas identified to address any concerning trends.

In many cases these anonymous reports may be the only way the University knows what types of abuse are occurring, how often, where, when, and to whom, and so on. As such, they are vitally important to the University’s efforts to try to end these forms of abuse in the learning and working environments. 

6. What happens when someone submits a report with contact details?

When someone submits a named report the student or staff casework team will provide an initial response within 3 working days.  The process for both staff and student reports is detailed in the process maps.  

7. What do you do with the data gathered from reports? 

The data collected from Report + Support is used to produce anonymised annual reports. These reports would include the number of cases, most reported types of issues and location. 

8. How will The Open University manage malicious complaints? 

If a report is found to be malicious or vexatious, such reports will be addressed under existing student and staff disciplinary procedures. 

9. How secure is the data and information sent through the system? 

Data held on Report + Support is General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliant and further information about how data is collected and stored is outlined in the Privacy Notice. The system has been security tested by both the developer (Culture Shift) and by the University. 

10. How long is data stored on the system? 

We will only retain personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil purposes we collected it for. We will keep records of reports  as outlined in the Privacy Notice

11. Who are the administrators on the system? 

The system is administered by the University EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Team, Staff Casework Team and Student Casework Team. 

12. Will the responses I provide to the personal data questions change any of my personal data held on my staff/student record? 

The responses you provide to the personal data questions on the Report + Support System do not change the personal data held on your staff/student record. The anonymised data feeds into high level statistical reporting, to help us gain a better understanding of whether certain groups of people within the University are experiencing issues with  assault, bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crime or sexual misconduct. 

There are two ways you can tell us what happened